February 5, 2009
Starkville High School defensive end Johnathan Archie is ready for a fresh start.
Archie is prepared to take full advantage of the chance after he signed Wednesday to play football for the Jackson State Tigers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
"I didn''t have the year I thought I was going to have, but in the end and through it all, God blessed me with a scholarship and he opened doors for me," Archie said. "I did not live up to my potential this year, but from here on out at JSU, it''s about being a Tiger, and I''m going to give it my all, academically, and athletically."
As a senior with the Yellow Jackets, Archie made 42 tackles, including three tackles for loss, with one sack and one fumble recovery.
Archie said Jackson State began recruiting him at the end of the season.
"It was a long process," Archie said. "I went down there for the official visit and I just felt like it was home. I had fun and felt like we were a family down there with the coaches, also some of the players and even some of the recruits."
Archie''s teammate, defensive tackle Carlos Ware, will take his talents to East Mississippi Community College.
"I look forward to the opportunity," Ware said. "I like the school. Everything was based on academics and playing ball, so that really pushed me. Coach (Buddy) Stephens is a pretty good coach. He likes for his players to stay in class and do their work. Basically he wants you to stay in the weight room and be on the field on time. That''s my strategy."
Ware had 45 tackles last season, with three tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Joining East Webster High School teammate Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State) in signing Wednesday was defensive end Tanner Roberson, who joined Holmes Community College.
"I had a bunch of different choices I could have made," Roberson said. "I felt most at home at Holmes, and that gives me the best chance after a year or two to go on to big-time football. All of the coaches were nice, and that''s where I felt I had the best shot to play ball."
Roberson had 123 total tackles last season, with 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He expects to play defensive end and tight end at Holmes C.C.
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